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September 05 2011

Joss Whedon's advice for getting through high school. He provides four very important rules.

This is a great link. Everybody, to the reading.
It is good, isn't it? I miss the Joss penned essays so this was a nice treat.
It's pretty awesome advice and actually, incredible, Joss was so self-aware at that age. Not many are, so use this sage advise wisely teens! I think the last one though, can apply to adults in the workplace. Being comfortable in one's own skin and knowing your own power, is not easily achievable at any age.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2011-09-05 21:34 ]
It's my favourite Whedonesque thing since the crochet interview.

I'm almost 30 now. It's taken me almost twice the length it took joss to get it. Be yourself. Other people (or corporations, governments, society) will try to make you something you might not be. That's their power. Your power is to say 'No'. That will get you displeasure, and respect, in almost equal measures.
God, I wish I'd have read this kind of thing in high school. But then, I had Buffy to get me through it, so it's all good.
Joss, you couldn't have said this a few years ago? Would have come in super handy for me.

I was very much knowledgeable about Rule 1, failed horribly for the most part at Rule 2 - a girl who doesn't follow fashion or use the word hot? what? - until I found a few who followed Rule 1 that I felt safe around, and it took me three of four years to finally understand Rule the Most.

This is fantastic. Everyone should read this.
Don't forget to read the last essay, by Patton Oswalt (Joel Mynor from Dollhouse).
20 years too late. ;)
But I'm forwarding it to my nephew.
I try telling him he should treat High School like an all you can eat buffet. It's pretty much the last time so much will be available for free & he should take as much as he can.
I bet he listens to me as much as I would have.
I love it so much. I'm with gossi - best since crochet interview. And makes me feel ever the more like Joss continues to be my kindred spirit.

I can't help but feel that being able to live in your own skin is greatly helped along by having one or more awesome parents. Which we know Joss did.

Much love, j. Much love. Always.
Knowing/being yourself is definitely a great and under-rated thing (and boy does highschool suck - glad I never went there!) ;)
When is quoting Monty Python ever NOT cool? Seriously.
I really enjoyed this. Came a few years too late, but oh well. Still nice.
Older boys relentlessly bullied younger, and teachers (called “dons”) bullied everyone, often physically. All the students, even boys younger than I, knew each other and came from the same social strata. The school had its own language—literally; there was book of “notions” to be memorized and tested. And on top of it all, I was of course that most dread creation, an American.

This must have (1) sucked (2) prepared Joss to write about same-but-different worlds, since Riverdale Country School (if it's Wikipedia page is to be believed) is a fairly exclusive educational institution as well. (And Sarah Michelle Gellar went there too!)

<3 the whole same-but-different theme about making your way in the brave (scared) new (old) world, too. You can only connect with others if you be yourself. Otherwise it's a Dollhouse engagement.

[ edited by Pointy on 2011-09-06 01:43 ]
Simon, you really must stop this, you're making me laugh again!
I moved from one school to another when I was thirteen, and I know what he means when he decided how he wanted to be perceived and behaving accordingly. My persona changed totally from school one to school two. I also loved being different. Not wearing makeup or setting fire to the school different, just a bit weird.
A year or so later I realised my fellow classmates liked me when I did something bad. Very bad. Okay I blew the electricity to the entire school. While in class. Watched by thirty other kids. And no one ever squealed on me.
That was cool.

Funny, my brother was telling me about his schooldays literally yesterday, and he did exactly what Joss did, moved from (a Canadian) High School to a British boarding school. He too was totally unprepared for all the rules, like if you went out one weekend you couldn't go out the next, and so on. Watch John Cleese in Meaning Of Live explain to his class that "If you are getting a haircut then see Matron after lunch before writing your letter home unless..." and accept that my brother says it was exactly like that.
Little brother starts high school in two years. Will bookmark this for him.
Oldest nephling starts high school in 2 days. Sent this off to him this afternoon. Hope he has an easier time of it than I did.
I had the same thought as many of you in that it's great advise a tad late for my benefit. I'll be sure to bookmark this for anyone I come across starting down this road. Mitholas is right though, Buffy was my guiding star and I love who I am today so something obviously worked. :)
"Never forget who you are, for surely the world won’t. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you."

Check it out - Joss Whedon is the Tyrion Lannister of real life.
And it’s always, always about power.

gossi, any chance of getting a link to the crochet piece?

Wish I'd had this article when I was dumped into a boarding school in high school.

Another rule I know to be true: Your whole life in a new school can be determined by who you go to lunch with on the first day.
Can't find the original post but here is the interview.
One thing about the advice Mr Whedon offers - some of it can be applied to the working world, too. I actually figured out what joss figured out at school - but I didn't figure it out in the working world. For a long time I thought work would be different. What I eventually released is that work is like school - except people are paid not to hit each other. Own your identity and your flaws. Otherwise, other people will. Oh, and don't presume everybody knows what they're doing, and that you don't. It rarely works like that.

PS: Kairos, you made me laugh with the loudness.

[ edited by gossi on 2011-09-06 08:20 ]
I think what got me through high school is that it never occurred to me that I could be anyone but the book-reading nerd that was me. Sure I got picked on and sure that wasn't hardly fun, and sure I changed/grew up in the environment, but never so much to stop being that person. It takes some years for full appreciation of that to sink in.
oh man. advice from Joss and from Winnie? Where was this when I was an adolescent!
Excellent advice - I will ask my daughter read it this afternoon when she returns from her first day back at Senior school.
Saving this for my 11 year old, slight of build, brainy son.
Quoting Monty Python is still cool in my book.

And even before I read Kairos' cool comment, Whedon's quote about "it's about power" totally had me thinking of Game of Thrones. :)
Well... it's definitely good advice, but my teenage self unfortunately wouldn't have been able to make any use of it. Eh, I was a bit of a mess. Hopefully others are in a better place and more capable than I was.

As for my my best advice: never forget that it WILL end.
I loved high school. Didn't have any one set of friends, loved all the angst and closeness and the revelations. None of it ever felt mean-spirited or E-VIL, and everyone smiled. A LOT. Prolly cuz we were all baked.

Ahh, the 70s.
On a vaguely related note, it involving young people and their wacky habits, I was quite excited to see Anthony Head make a brief appearance in The Inbetweeners Movie. The opening scene, no less. Little surprised that hadn't been mentioned on here. His daughter, Emily Head, also reprises her role from the TV series.

Great little piece from Joss here. Only wish I could have read his words of wisdom when I was at school.
You've filled my heart with tiny knitted joy. I remember when the knit/crochet bunch was trying really hard to bring Joss and that website together for an interview, but never saw the result.
Started my senior year yesterday! This is all great advice. Today in my Spanish class, however, I mentioned that me gusta miro las programas de television. When asked which ones, I answered Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to which the entire class English I could have defended it, but my meager knowledge of Spanish allowed me to only angrily say "Que? Que?"

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